Daewoo's probably not a brand you associate with TV per se, and to be honest we were a little sceptical ourselves when we first unpacked the hefty box that the DLV-42U1GMB LCD TV comes in. With a name like DLV-42U1GMB, someone at Daewoo's been cribbing notes from Sony's product naming department, we suspect.
Our scepticism wasn't dulled by the DLV-42U1GMB's fairly plain design, either. It's big. It's black. Aside from the silver Daewoo badge, you could essentially mistake this for any other 42" LCD panel from any other manufacturer. The DLV-42U1GMB comes with a fairly large base stand, a cleaning cloth and a very busy, but fairly intelligently laid out remote control.
On the features side, the DLV-42U1GMB certainly tries hard to offer the goods. It's a native 1080p (1920x1080) panel with a claimed 8ms response time. It features an integrated HD tuner, connections for pretty much everything you might want to throw at it, including 3 HDMI sockets, alongside media card readers slots and a single USB 2.0 port. The USB port supports playback of MP3, MP4, DivX 5, WMA and JPEG files via a simple interface.
Daewoo's take on digital image processing is labelled MGDI Plus (Meta Genuine Digital Image Plus). It's a name only a marketing executive could love, but it's designed to reduce blurring, noise and distortion, at least according to Daewoo's marketing material. The proof, however, is in the testing.
So, with a reasonable specifications set alongside a rather pedestrian design, we weren't expecting all that much out of the DLV-42U1GMB's panel, and, to be honest, we were very pleasantly surprised by this well constructed TV's output. Testing HD content via the PS3's Blu-Ray playback engine connected through HDMI gave us some good ground to really give the DLV-42U1GMB a workout. One thing we noticed immediately was the annoying beep that the system emits by default whenever you use a control on the TV itself; this is thankfully omitted when using the remote.
The other thing we noticed was that the default normal setting was just a little bit too garish for most film material, giving a bit too much brilliance to most scenes. The sharp mode had the same basic problem, but the movie mode did drop the issue almost entirely. We tested watching through Spider-Man 3 on Blu-Ray, and while the DLV-42U1GMB couldn't make it a great movie, it did make it quite watchable in a technical sense.
Switching over to 1080p gaming, the DLV-42U1GMB made a good effort with Gran Turismo Prologue Edition and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. Predictably, the games suffered less from garish hues, but then most game material tends to be rendered slightly too bright for realism anyway.
Testing DivX playback from USB worked well, although predictably the 1080p resolution of the panel made most downloaded video look very pixellated indeed. It's still a suitable way to watch content, because it's quite convenient, but we did wish for a screen scaling button on some material.
With an asking price of AU$2499, the DLV-42U1GMB competes well. It's not the best known brand for LCD, but with a three year warranty, it offers good value for money, and brings another quality competitor to the table for Australian consumers -- and that can only be a good thing for anyone wanting a competitively priced TV.